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Elk Mtn: how are liftlines (no high-speed quad?)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Looking at Elk for MLK Day as a least-of-all-evils solution (kids are out of school so you take your ski days where you can get them).  I haven't been to  Elk since the early 90s.  My usual local haunt is Camelback thanks to a friend with a cabin there, I'm told CB is mobbed on MLK, so I thought maybe Elk, with its extra drive, might have a thinner holiday crowd.  But looking at the trail map, I don't think they have a high-speed quad, or even that many lifts for that matter.

 

What can I expect?

post #2 of 16
No high speed lifts at Elk. As you look at the trail map, there's a quad (fixed-grip) at the far right, near the parking lots, and a pair of double chairs at the left edge of the base lodge - both run when it's busy. There's a beginner lift to the left of those, very slow, and another slow double on West slope at the right end of the base lodge. There will be lines on MLK day, probably a little lighter at the quad, but on the whole it should be better than Camelback. The skiing certainly will be better. I live a little north of Philly, near the entrance to the NE extension of the pike, and would never consider Camelback as an alternative to Elk. Sno Mountain in Scranton sucks up some of the casual crowd on weekends.
post #3 of 16

Hoping to ski Elk Saturday for first time.....but might end up at Greek.

 

If I ski Elk will try to post a report for you. Repeat this post on the the Harvey Road ski blog you will likely get an immediate accurate answer....

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks folks!  I'll check back here for a possible report (and google that blog).  

post #5 of 16

I was at Elk MLK or Pres about 5 years ago. Elk is Way Better than the rest of the Pocono scene. Generally they get a better quality of skier than the rest which help a lot. Couple of timing things that always seem to ring true...Get there when the lifts open and ski hard for 2 hours. Eat lunch an hour before everyone else. Majority of the peeps show up around 10. Everyone eats from 12:30-2:00. there should be a lull in the lift lines then. These usually hold true.

post #6 of 16
This past weekend at Elk had spring like conditions. Soft snow, some browning spots, but plenty open and easy to avoid any sketchy spots.
No lift lines to speak of.
A good day of skiing.
Way less crowds than any other of the pocono places.
post #7 of 16
Ski'd elk today 1/2 day tix $45...ski on pretty much till about 10:30 but then the steady influx is elk wagon riders ( parking lot shuttle) overwhelmed the lift ques.

Nice mountain clean friendly operation and thins the crowd out nicely. We stuck to the blacks mostly as the blues became pretty scary in spots with traffic.

Skiing on Susquehanna was my fAv.... Steep black rated wide cruiser right down the middle of the hill. For those familiar with Berkshire east this mountain had an overall similar feel. Tho there are a couple of spots where b east is steeper than what we ski'd today I would say elk had an overall steeper trend to it. This was an unexpected treat def not a bunny hill! The other surprise was that early in the am the quality of skiers on the hill was outstanding.

Highly recommended, but arrive early. Lifts spin for customers promptly at 0830.
post #8 of 16

Keep in mind, a fixed grip quad and a high speed quad will generally have the same skier capacity per hour. When running at capacity, a high speed quad will have a longer line due to the shorter ride time.

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

Keep in mind, a fixed grip quad and a high speed quad will generally have the same skier capacity per hour. When running at capacity, a high speed quad will have a longer line due to the shorter ride time.

I'm not sure you've ever been to Elk and experienced their lifts. On the east (original and base lodge side), there are 2 double chairs that have been the  for the 40 years that I've skied. Very slow and tend to stop frequently. Elk has a one (non high speed) quad lift on the north side. I will guarantee you that I can ski many more runs in 4 hours (non-peak, non-weekend)  at my home Pa mountain with a high speed lift, and the same vertical rise, than I can at Elk. The story that is told is Elk does not want high speeds so that the number of skiers coming down results in less crowded trails. That may or may not be the case, but, I appreciate the reduced on-hill skier density. 

post #10 of 16

Any idea how the ski school at Elk compares to Blue or Camelback? I'm planning on taking my 8-year-old daughter for her first ski day, and the drive isn't that much farther to Elk (I'm in NJ, just outside Philly).

post #11 of 16
My observation indicated a very smooth professional ski school with a lot of very skilled skiers.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondDave View Post

Any idea how the ski school at Elk compares to Blue or Camelback? I'm planning on taking my 8-year-old daughter for her first ski day, and the drive isn't that much farther to Elk (I'm in NJ, just outside Philly).

Elk has an excellent ski school.  They have three examiners on their staff including the current VP of PSIA-E (Eric Jordan) and a past President of PSIA-E (Bob Shostek)

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

I'm not sure you've ever been to Elk and experienced their lifts. On the east (original and base lodge side), there are 2 double chairs that have been the  for the 40 years that I've skied. Very slow and tend to stop frequently. Elk has a one (non high speed) quad lift on the north side. I will guarantee you that I can ski many more runs in 4 hours (non-peak, non-weekend)  at my home Pa mountain with a high speed lift, and the same vertical rise, than I can at Elk. The story that is told is Elk does not want high speeds so that the number of skiers coming down results in less crowded trails. That may or may not be the case, but, I appreciate the reduced on-hill skier density. 

 

You obviously ignored the part of my post where I said when they are both running AT CAPACITY. When running below capacity, a high speed lift will obviously be faster. I have been to Elk, and I've been to many other mountains with fixed and detachable lifts. If you look at a quad's uphill capacity, it will generally be the same per hour, regardless of whether it is a high speed or fixed grip. That is because the detachable's higher speed is offset by a greater distance between chairs, which ends up evening out the overall capacity of the lift. So on a busy weekend, you will get in exactly as many runs per hour on a high speed quad as on a fixed grip. The difference is that on the high speed, you will spend more of the time in line, while on the fixed grip you will spend more time sitting on the lift.

 

When a mountain says they are sticking with fixed grip in order to keep skier density down, that's just BS from the marketing dept. Like I said, the uphill capacity of a fixed and detachable is generally the same, meaning at capacity, the skier density is the same. But a new detachable lift is a multimillion dollar investment. And the yearly maintenance on a detachable is roughly five times that of a fixed grip lift. Obviously they're not going to say they're not upgrading because its too expensive, so they spin this "skier density" story, which the uninformed masses swallow without question.

 

All that being said, I prefer high speeds, hands down. I try to ski as much as possible when the mountain is below capacity, making a high speed by far the better option. And when the mountain is at capacity, I'm going to spend 20 minutes from the end of one run to the beginning of the next. I'd rather spend more of that 20 minutes in a relatively sheltered lift line, surrounded by other 98.6 degree bodies, than up in the air exposed to the cold and the wind with only 1 or 2 other people to shield me from it.

post #14 of 16

There is a great trip report up on Harvey Road blog re a skier visit to Elk the day before we went.....

 

I can't link to it directly for some reason, you will have to hunt it down.....

 

http://nyskiblog.com/forums/

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post
 

There is a great trip report up on Harvey Road blog re a skier visit to Elk the day before we went.....

 

I can't link to it directly for some reason, you will have to hunt it down.....

 

http://nyskiblog.com/forums/

Need to use the Permalink

 

http://forum.nyskiblog.com/Elk-Mountain-PA-1-18-2013-td4023661.html

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post
 

There is a great trip report up on Harvey Road blog re a skier visit to Elk the day before we went.....

 

I can't link to it directly for some reason, you will have to hunt it down.....

 

http://nyskiblog.com/forums/

Thanks.

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